Jose Mourinho has a history of losing dressing rooms in his third season at the helm of a club and, if the Special One has lost several Manchester United players, which is what appears to be the case from the outside looking in, then Valencia has a good chance of reviving its UEFA Champions League Group H prospect at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
Manchester United was so poor in losing 1-3 at West Ham in the English Premier League that one can only deduce that many of the Red Devils stars have stopped responding to Mourinho in a positive manner. Without a win since beating Young Boys 3-0 in Switzerland four games ago, Manchester United is in full-blown crisis and, while the Red Devils owners and executives are known for their patience, it is looking inevitable Mourinho will receive his marching orders because Old Trafford is only big enough for one of him and France’s FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder, Paul Pogba.
According to expected points, Manchester United has picked up the English Premier League points its performances have deserved and, unless the Red Devils improve out of sight in the next few rounds, the top four and qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League may become hard for them to realise. And it is not just Manchester United’s results that Red Devils are hating; they do not like Mourinho’s brand of football, which is a far cry from the attacking style that was synonymous with Alex Ferguson’s trophy-winning years.
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Valencia has won only one of its eight competitive matches this term but it was its last game – a 1-0 Spanish Primera Division away victory over Sociedad – and, according to expected points and expected goals, the Bats have been unlucky in many of their league fixtures. It is tough to forgive Valencia for losing 0-2 at home to a 10-man Juventus team in its first UEFA Champions League Group H match but it is tough to bypass the Bats at odds against not to lose to a shambolic Manchester United side in Wednesday’s big game at +115 with BetVictor.
One is also interested in having a punt on the other UEFA Champions League match featuring a team from Manchester and the bet that appeals is Manchester City to get the better of Hoffenheim in a game that goes over two and a half goals.
Manchester City has won seven and drawn one of its nine matches across all tournaments this season but the Citizens find themselves at the foot of the UEFA Champions League Group F ladder because they lost 1-2 at home to Lyon two weeks ago. Manchester City’s body of work this term is sufficiently good to support it being one of the UEFA Champions League favourites but the Citizens need to register a Group F success before the pressure starts to build on Pep Guardiola and his expensive squad of stars.
Hoffenheim is 11th on the German Bundesliga ladder with one more point than its displays merit and Hoffe’s six league games should have been even more high scoring than they have been – they have featured 20 goals whereas expected goals data says they should have had at least three more.
Manchester City is rightfully short odds to beat Hoffenheim so, in order to get close to even money, back the Citizens and over two and a half goals at +107 with 888Sport. Six of Manchester City’s nine matches have gone over two and a half goals, while seven of Hoffenheim’s eight games have exceeded that particular mark.
Finally and sticking with the English Premier League theme, one thinks Tottenham at -125 with Bet365 is overpriced to get something out of its UEFA Champions League Group B match versus Barcelona.
Tottenham has not done anything remarkable in either the English Premier League or UEFA Champions League Group B but one questions whether a Barcelona side coming off Spanish Primera Division home draws with Girona and Athletic plus a domestic loss at Leganes should be such a warm favourite.
Valencia or Draw (Double Chance)
Tuesday 2nd October, 20:00 BST
Manchester City to beat Hoffenheim and over 2.5 goals
Tuesday 2nd October, 17:55 BST
Tottenham or Draw (Double Chance)
Wednesday 3rd, 20:00 BST
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